11th December 2010

Fully Human And Fully God

“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, for ever praised!”
Romans 9:5 (NIV UK)

There was a debate in early Christianity over the nature of Jesus Christ.

Some suggested that God materialised himself as the man Christ for the sake of his earthly ministry. It was like some of the stories from Greek mythology when gods would appear as human for various reasons. Jesus was thus to their minds like a divine temporary apparition and not actually human at all.

Others argued differently. Luke listed the genealogy of Christ not just to explain that Jesus was descended through Mary to the patriarchs (Luke 3:23-38), but also to emphasize that Jesus was human. Similarly the apostle John, in referring to Jesus Christ as the Word that “was God”, explained that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14).  Theologically this concept of the Word becoming flesh is called the Incarnation. The weight of scripture supports the idea that Jesus, who is called the Son of God and the Son of Man, is both fully divine and fully human.

When Paul was writing to the Romans he wanted to stress to the Jews the privilege of their spiritual heritage. God had blessed them with opportunities to which, for the most part, they had not responded. Even the scriptures themselves had come from God through them. Most importantly the Messiah had come through them. Jesus, he explains, was human and also he is “God over all, for ever praised”. Jesus Christ is the union between God and humankind.

This is relevant to us. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9).

This same Jesus, who lives in us through the Spirit, is God.

Eternal God, words cannot express the reassurance and comfort it gives me to know that your presence is ever with me and that Jesus lives in me. Thank you that you have given me this fullness in Christ. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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